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EPA settles lawsuit over hazardous waste near Franklin landfill

EPA settles lawsuit over hazardous waste near Franklin landfill

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with the garbage-disposal giant Waste Management of Wisconsin, Inc. over allegedly illegal hazardous-waste practices at a landfill in Franklin.

The proposed settlement, announced on Thursday, calls for increased monitoring for hazardous waste near the Metro Recycling and Disposal Facility in Franklin and a $232,000 fine to resolve alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Waste Management of Wisconsin owns and operates the Metro Landfill, which is licensed to accept non-hazardous municipal, commercial, industrial and special wastes for disposal but not to treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste.

The EPA alleged that Waste Management has improperly accepted and disposed of hazardous waste since at least 1999. Specifically, the complaint alleged the landfill had taken hundreds of tons of electric-arc-furnace dust over a period of 10 years from Maynard Steel Casting Company of Milwaukee. The dust was contaminated with chromium, a hazardous waste and human carcinogen.

The complaint said Waste Management disposed of the foundry waste throughout the landfill and did no testing or analysis of the substance.

“All of the hazardous waste referenced in this complaint remains at the Metro Landfill and continues to be stored there improperly,” the complaint said. “The environmental harm from the disposal and storage continues to this day.”

According to the settlement, Waste Management has agreed to conduct leachate and groundwater monitoring, and revise its waste-management plan and training procedures.

The complaint and the proposed settlement were filed at the same time. The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information about how to comment will be added to the U.S. Department of Justice’s website.


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